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Is this a trend in blogging?

February 2, 2009

I am just reviewing my Twitter feed and come across this

@rshevlin I’m considering pulling a Shevlin and saying sayonara to my blog. Half a visit per minute spent on a post may not be worth it.

What is happening here? First Shevlin and now the Warrior?

I can understand the need to move on, to see the limited resource of time diminish to the point of re-establishing one’s priorities but really that should be the main reason. Take some time off. Post a big blinking sign on your blog that you are on vacation and give us some lame excuse but please don’t quit. I mean how are you going to synthesize those diatribes into 140 characters?  You can’t! What is going to happen to all those great ideas and thoughts that swirl around your cranium? They have to go somewhere or your head will explore. 

Seriously though, and for purely selfish reasons, one puts together a group of blogs of some very intelligent and interesting people from every walk of life. For a few minutes every day you get to read what others are thinking and doing without any editorial bias from any unseen source. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad but they are always read. They make sense and if they don’t you get to comment and contribute. They break down an individual barrier that we all struggle with, that of thinking we are alone in our thoughts. That someone from Boston or North Carolina or Iowa could make such a connection to someone in B.C. is a remarkable experience and one that I place a high value on. There are times someone hasn’t blogged for months. Then suddenly they appear again. Sure there are some that will never blog and that is ok. Maybe this is just a phase that blogging must go through. Like it isn’t centuries old is it. 

One of my favourite authors is Robertson Davies. Over the years I have read his books, sometimes more than once. When he passed away, there would be no more books and that was sad. I have one book left of his that I haven’t read and that is being saved for a some warm summer days in the not to distant future. When someone like the CU Warrior says he maybe quitting I can appreciate his position. It isn’t like he won’t be around anymore. It is that there will be something missing. Life gets like that as you get older. Things are missed. We need to remember to celebrate the moment because that gets to be very important.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. ljnewton permalink
    February 2, 2009 7:45 pm

    Well said, Tinfoiling, I hope CU Warrior heeds your sage advice. I barely got to listen to Shevlin before he retired his blogging “pen.”

    It’s quite sad that Robertson Davies has fallen out of fashion; I never will forget the infamous snowball that wove a haunted path through the Deptford Trilogy. That was writing! You are fortunate to have one of his still to look forward to.

  2. February 2, 2009 8:12 pm

    I’ve had 2 bloggers who I felt connected to, who just did an instant blog fade. Crazy, but I actually feel resentful! It was like leaving and not saying goodbye, when I didn’t want them to leave at all!

  3. February 2, 2009 9:55 pm

    I have to agree with you, it is a shame when people stop proper blogging. Twitter is great, but it is so short, which is a blessing and curse – sometimes it forces one to clarify and simplify, other times it forces complex thoughts in to teeny little space and diminishes impact.

    Across the many blogs I have, posting has suffered due to a greater Twitter usage, and this is something I lament as there are so many thoughts I’d rather expand on more fully. I think for some of us (at least for me) Twitter is becoming an excuse to not thoughtfully express and flesh out ideas.

    So, I hope @cuwarrior and @rshevlin continue to both blog and tweet, based on what makes the most sense. It is nice to hear your thoughts 🙂

    @bk127001

  4. February 3, 2009 8:39 am

    Gene – I’ve never been so touched by a blog post. Thank you so much for caring.

    I wrote a rambling, way too long response, at http://creditunionwarrior.blogspot.com/2009/02/tinfoiled.html.

  5. February 3, 2009 9:11 am

    Maybe Ron should republish “The Best of Shevlin.” If he entered new ‘publish’ dates on his old posts, we could all feel whole again.

  6. February 3, 2009 11:18 am

    Gene, this is a wonderful message as always. I think that it really points out something very key.

    When the readership is relatively low (not like social media and other “rock stars” who routinely get 100s of comments) (because, face it, we’re nerds writing about totally nerdy subjects-and that’s okay), short brief comments are CRITICAL to encourage continuation of writing. Yes, we are all extremely busy. But if we want to encourage, good thoughtful writing, we need to take 10 seconds if there are no or few comments and say “hey, that was a cool insight, thanks for sharing it” or “I never thought of it that way before”. It doesn’t have to be a long comment to be appreciated.

    I know that many times I have something to comment, but no time to do it. Rather than say nothing and then forget to come back, better to make that quick comment and come back later if time permits for a lengthy response.

    Using a blog platform like WordPress where you don’t have to log in EVERY time to make a comment (unlike Blogger unfortunately) makes leaving these quick short comments MUCH easier. Perhaps this is the best argument for WordPress to date, it makes comments from your readers much easier.

  7. February 3, 2009 11:20 am

    @jpilcher You are right, Ron has given us such great, thoughtful material, that he could go into reruns so that we can re-examine so many great insights that we might not have had time or opportunity to appreciate the first time around.

    http://marketingroi.wordpress.com/

  8. February 3, 2009 2:51 pm

    Gene,

    I couldn’t agree more. When I heard that the Warrior was thinking of pulling a Shevlin I twittered about it. Hopefully he read it.

    My advice to bloggers – as tempting as it is – DON’T keep watching, analyzing, judging yourself by your bloody stats. Gheeez……Think of it as a weird diary. It’s cathartic, right? If it’s not, then maybe you shouldn’t write.

    When I heard that Warrior was disillusioned by the “time” each person spends on his blog and that was discouraging him, I wanted to shake him! I love the Warrior – and the fact that people are “just looking” shouldn’t bother him.

    Oh, and didn’t Shevlin say he had some crazy goal of being ranked number one on some Blog-O-Rama site???

    That’s not why you should blog, in my opinion. Do it because you have something to say – and you need to get it out there! Let it go….don’t be afraid of what people think.

    I had a dear friend call me recently that suggested I “cool it” on my blog in reference to the TARP issue. I can’t and I probably won’t. It’s my refuge right now for my frustrations with the credit union movement, the economy, greed, stupidity and entitlement that has come to be our society. There I said it – AGAIN!!!

    Sorry Gene – this is your blog.

    Love you, love your show…
    D.

  9. February 3, 2009 6:44 pm

    Yes, I did say that when I started blogging, I had some crazy goal about being numero uno. BUT — I also said that I failed I miserably at achieving that goal, and that I’m damn glad that I did fail.

    The Warrior’s comments about “lack of readership” is disappointing and misguided. Misguided because it’s all relative. He might have looked at my blog and said “wow, look at all readers/commenters that Ron has.” Meanwhile, I’m sitting there thinking “wow, look at all the readers/commenters that Seth Godin has.”

    It’s disappointing (to me) because it reflects something that I really thought the Warrior was above — worrying about quantity over quality. The shallowness of so many people who count up their Facebook “friends” (oh yes, that term needs quotation marks) or Twitter followers is pretty pathetic.

    But to each his/her own, so who am I to judge someone if they think it’s important to run up their FB friend or Twitter follower count. What does rankle me, though, is that many of these people are the same ones who sing the “join the conversation” chorus sung by social media fanatics. I’m sorry, folks, but there is no way you can be having a QUALITY conversation with 1000 other Twitterers. (Unless, of course, that’s your full time job).

    IF the Warrior kills his blog… then (I know this will sound harsh, sorry) so be it. We’ll take the conversation somewhere else. Hopefully, Matt will be able to share his ideas as freely and as easily at this new place as he did/does his own blog.

    Sorry to commandeer your blog, Gene.

  10. February 3, 2009 7:07 pm

    @Ron – I’ve never referred one single time to the number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers I have – in any forum or conversation (virtual or otherwise). In fact, I am as casual a Facebook user as there could possibly be. Rather, I was pointing out a lack of comments on ALL credit union blogs. Look around, it’s everywhere. There are some great writers out there generating great stuff. But the conversation has simply puttered out. That is what I’ve always derived the most pleasure from – the conversation.

    For my little site to generate over 10,000 visits last year, I consider it a tremendous success analytics-wise. Less than other blogs? Absolutely! I would wager it’s 1% of what you generated in your last year. But I consider that a success. But that’s not what gets me excited. What gets me excited is generating discussion. Effecting action. Making a difference. For whatever reason, I’ve been failing at making that happen of late. For whatever reason, the conversation is dying – on all of our sites.

    It’s not a matter of quality versus quantity – it’s a matter of opportunity cost. I’ve created roughly 100 posts for my and various other blogs. Some took 30 minutes. Some took several hours. My open, honest “question” was intended to be: is there a better use of my time? If I’m going to devote this amount of time to something, am I choosing wisely? What else could I be creating?

    Sorry you interpreted it differently.

  11. tinfoiling permalink*
    February 3, 2009 8:11 pm

    I find it amazing what has come forward here.

    Just recently my son asked a dear friend about the books he read. His answer was ‘I would rather read a good book 5 times than 5 not-so-good books once’. Most every person who has contributed here is that ‘good book’ and the comments prove it.

    So many times I have mentioned that this is a means of communication that is still in its infancy. It hasn’t even begun to crawl yet. Give it some time. It has dimensions that we are just now beginning to understand. Above all it is cyclical not linear. When events happen and the conversation starts we will once again repeat another round in writing and understanding. We should be patient. And don’t forget the best part is when we meet. Next time someone else has to control Pilcher 😉 along with Cindy and Denise.

  12. Ryan permalink
    February 6, 2009 12:50 pm

    I wanted to chime in on the comment aspect of this discussion. I hosted a night show on a Top 40 radio station for about six years and always loved when one of the topics I was talking about made all 10 lines light up. While making the phones ring was fun, I always had a clear understanding that while 10 people may be calling, there were 100k listening that opted not to call. You have to stay focussed on the bigger picture.

    I think it is safe to say that more people use banks than credit unions right? Just because credit unions aren’t as popular doesn’t mean any of us would want to bail on CU’s due to popularity. While a blog might have a small readership, there are people actively going to a site to read the authors content.

    If one is unhappy with the stats, make a change. Readers only staying around for a bit? Maybe the posts are to long. Pretend your blog is twitter. Say what you have to say and leave it at that. All that said, if want to build readership you have to post, and post frequently. Letting days laps between post is a sure fire way to kill a blogs audience.

  13. February 6, 2009 4:48 pm

    Matt and Gene,

    I too have fallen a bit off the radar. It has been hard to keep updating with the new kid, new projects and different things I want to explore in the world of marketing design and business.

    But, I am with Denise. I use CUHype as therapy. I get frustrated and rant in blog format.

    Sure I dont have a ton of time and sometimes would rather be doing something else. But I have picked up a few tricks along the way.

    Use Jott to convert voice messages to text. We just switched business phone service providers where if I leave a voicemail for myself, their system converts it to text and emails it to me… instant transcription.

    It turns an hour of typing to a copy and paste and gentle brushing of proofing. If you read cuhype, you will see how gentle that brush is 🙂

    Don’t give up the fight amigo, yours is a voice needed in the revolution.

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